Life With Kids V.S. Life Without Kids

By Esther Rachel Lai. - 3/12/2016

Since most of my peers are unmarried (not to mention, childless) and living the life every young, twenty-something year old should, it gives me a distinct comparison of what it is like having kids versus not having any kids. Being 24 and having kids ahead of everyone else your age only means that the differences are amplified tenfolds and sometimes, painfully obvious. Here's what I mean:

Preparing To Go Out

Without Kids: 
Heading out is a breeze - You can prepare in half an hour or less if you're in a rush or take eons in the shower if you wish. Even turn on some tunes and dance around without a care while getting dressed.

With Kids: 
It's an everyday battle. Preparation starts at least 2 hours beforehand and no matter how early you try to prep yourself, you always end up rushing. You have to hurriedly shower yourself down, get the kids showered and dressed, pack their things while they whine and cry about having to wake up, not wanting to shower, insisting on playing for just 5 more minutes as they start creating an even bigger mess, refusing to put on their shoes and when you're finally done with all that and ready to head out, they'll tell you that they urgently need to poop.

Having a Meal

Without Kids: 
Eating is a luxury. You slowly savour your food as you chat about the weather, sip on freshly brewed cappuccino, people-watch and heartily engage in endless conversations.

With Kids: 
Craving for a nice bowl of laksa? Sorry, no can't do! Cause if you do, then what's the kid gonna have? If you order a meal for him/her, she won't be able to finish and it'll go to waste so you just have to share - even if it means eating chicken rice or fish ball noodles 7 days a week because that's the only thing he/she will want to eat (I mean, sure you could go ahead and order something new but is it really worth the battle?) and when you finally set it down in front of them, they'll tell you they actually wanted fried rice (even when you've confirmed and triple confirmed with them before buying) and refuse to eat. As your hunger (and frustration) peaks, you still have to coax them to eat and when you finally succeed and are about to dig into your meal, the baby wakes up and cries for milk. By the time you do get to eat, your meal's already turn cold and you've to deal with the older kid rushing you to quickly finish your food because he/she's "tired" or "bored" or just plain cranky.

Watching Movies

Without Kids: 
Romance, comedy, thriller, horror, you watch whatever you want, whenever you want!

With Kids: 
Late night movies are a thing of the past and ain't nobody got time for anything except cartoons.

Alone Time

Without Kids:
You've so much free time to spare that you literally can "die of boredom" while pondering if you should get out of bed and not "waste the day away" or just screw it and sleep until nightfall.

With Kids: 
By alone time I suppose you mean the 10-15 minutes I spend in the bathroom each time?

Which brings me to the next point...

Using The Bathroom

Without Kids: 
Indulge in an aromatic bath, exfoliate your skin, condition your hair for half an hour, finish up your drama series while you poop. Ohhh, the infinite things you can do and hours you can spend singing in the bathroom.

With Kids: 
Momma, you got 10 minutes to poop and shower before the sleeping baby senses that you're away and starts wailing (like honestly, HOW IS IT THAT THEY ONLY CRY EVERY TIME YOU'RE ABOUT TO OR WHEN YOU'RE HALFWAY THROUGH YOUR SHOWER?!). & in that 10 minutes, if you've an older kid, expect to have your "alone time" interrupted every 3 minutes with your kid banging on your door asking you questions like "What are you doing inside?" or "Are you done yet? / Are you almost done yet???" & don't even get me started on the numerous humiliating moments when you've to use a public toilet with your toddler (because you obviously can't leave your kid outside the cubicle without worrying if he/she might run out or get kidnapped) loudly commenting on your itsy bitsy parts for the world to know.


Without Kids: Friday nights mean party and drinks till the wee hours, hanging out with friends after work, going pat tor with the boy/girlfriend etc.

With Kids: Friday nights = rushing home to spend quality time as a family and looking forward to paying off your sleep debt because you get to sleep in the next day!

Late Nights

Without Kids: 
Late nights are the result of having too much fun or the stubborn need to finish an entire drama series in one night.

With Kids: 
More than half the time, it happens not by choice. (e.g. Having to finish up work because you can't do so when the kids were awake / nursing a sick and cranky child / because your kid is on a sugar high and refuses to sleep).

Coming Home After A Long Day

Without Kids: 
Shower, turn on the telly, chill and slowly nod off in bed.

With Kids: 
Clean the kids up, change them, put them to bed, pick up the mess they had made just before leaving the house (refer to first point), shower and knock out immediately when your head hits the pillow.

Going To Bed

Without Kids:  

"Goodnight dear!"
"Sweet dreams!"
"I'll see you in the morning!"
*lights off*

With Kids: 
"OMG, finally! I'm so tired!"
"Me too! Night!"
*lights off*
& just as you're about to doze off...
*baby cries*.

But at the end of the day, you know you'd still choose a life with kids over a life without kids because you realise that...


Without Kids: 
Is brought about by your own selfish desires and self-fulfilment.

With Kids: 
Happiness comes in the form of a smile on your child's face after a bad day at work, the first time he/she calls you "mama", their first steps or first time they learn to ride a bike - that no other achievement or successes or amount of monetary gain and reward can ever compare to the unspeakable joy a child can give. It is that new-found knowledge and understanding that you've experienced pure, genuine happiness which you never would have if you didn't have a kid. The honour of being the universe in your child's eyes just as they are in yours.

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